Predictors of Mammography Uptake Among Italian Women Aged 50–69: a Cross-sectional Study

  • Brigid Unim
  • Roberto Boggi
  • Massimo Napoli
  • Roberta Fulgenzi
  • Adelaide Landi
  • Giuseppe La TorreEmail author


Screening coverage is of concern in several countries, including Italy. The aim of the study is to assess predictors of participation in the mammography screening program at the Local Health Unit RMA (Rome, Italy). A telephone-based questionnaire was administered to randomly selected eligible women. The study population was interviewed by the personnel of the health center. Five hundred two women were interviewed, of which 264(52.6%) have attended the breast cancer screening program at least once. The attendees received the invitation letter more often than the non-attendees (88.3% vs. 77.7%; p = 0.002) and were more willing to participate (85.6% vs. 69.3%; p < 0.001). Employees were more among the non-attendees of the screening program (66% vs. 52.3%; p = 0.002). Age over-61 (OR = 2.75; 95%CI 1.84–4.09), receiving the invitation letter (OR = 2.54; 95%CI = 1.52–4.24), and intention to participate (OR = 3.09; 95%CI = 1.94–4.91) were significantly associated with participation in the screening program. Although the invitation rate of the Local Health Unit RMA has improved in recent years, the mammography uptake rate remains very low. The presence of opportunistic screening activities, younger age, and low educational status could explain the low participation rates. Organizational barriers (e.g., screening hours coinciding with work hours, screening facilities located far away) may also limit participation. Major efforts should be made towards the regulation of opportunistic screening activities and reorganization of the screening centers and communication strategies to better comply with the needs of the target population. In this light, the involvement of different healthcare professionals, especially general practitioners, and gynecologists, is crucial.


Screening Mammography Breast cancer Attendance rate 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Teaching Hospital Umberto I of Rome Ethics Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brigid Unim
    • 1
  • Roberto Boggi
    • 2
  • Massimo Napoli
    • 2
  • Roberta Fulgenzi
    • 2
  • Adelaide Landi
    • 2
  • Giuseppe La Torre
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Public Health and Infectious DiseasesSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Local Health Unit ASL Roma A, Department of Prevention - Hygiene and Public Health ServiceRomeItaly

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